HC Deb 06 July 1888 vol 328 cc560-1
MR. D. SULLIVAN (Westmeath, S.)

(for Mr. MAURICE HEALY) (Cork) asked Mr. Solicitor General for Ireland, Whether his attention has been called to the notices issued by both Judges of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice in Ireland, that actions set down for bearing later than July 14, and motions of which notice is served after July 19, will not be heard until the Michaelmas Sittings in November; what the meaning of such notice is, having regard to the fact that the Trinity Sittings do not conclude until August 8, and that neither of the Judges in question has to go Circuit; whether he is aware that the arrangements in question is highly inconvenient to litigants, and is much complained of by solicitors; what ground there is for anticipating the Long Vacation by three weeks in the Chancery Division; whether it is in the power of individual Judges to modify the dates fixed by the Judicature Rules as the commencement of sittings and vacations; and, whether he will communicate with the Judges mentioned, with a view to abrogating a Rule so inconvenient to the Legal Profession and the public?


The notices referred to are in the form adopted for many years past by the Vice Chancellor, the present Master of the Rolls, and by his predecessor, Sir Edward Sullivan. The notices expressly provided for the hearing of causes and motions after the days mentioned by leave of the Court; and permission is readily given, when a reasonable excuse is offered, for the lateness of the application. The effect of the notices is not to anticipate the Long Vacation, or to modify the dates fixed for the commencement of sittings and vacations as suggested by the Question. They are issued solely in the interests of suitors and for the despatch of business, in order to prevent an accumulation of causes and motions just before the commencement of the Long Vacation, with the inevitable consequence of the accumulation of arrears involving great inconvenience to litigants, and in this respect they have worked most satisfactorily. While stating, as the result of my inquiries, that the practice is not productive of the inconvenience and complaints suggested by the Question, I should add that the matter is not one in which the Government have any power to interfere.